Married couple clings to boat until help arrives

A WODONGA couple has been rescued from Lake Hume after spending about an hour-and-a-half floating in the water.

Karl and Kim Faber had been travelling in a 4.5 metre fishing boat near Bethanga on Friday afternoon.

A large wave filled the vessel with water about midday, causing the boat to start sinking.

Mrs Faber grabbed her mobile phone as the boat started to go under and managed to raise the alarm.

They were forced to hold onto the side of the partially submerged boat as they waited for help.

Both were wearing life jackets which helped them to stay above water.

Brian Church set off to save the Wodonga couple in his fishing boat – similar to the one the couple had been in – after being unable to raise the coast guard.

“We couldn’t seem to get onto them,” he said.

“I hooked my own boat up and put it into the water myself.

“They were both clinging onto their boat and it was a bit hard getting them into my boat – I don’t have a ladder.

“They were just a bit tired from hanging on but they were OK.

“Only the nose of the boat was out of the water.”

Mr Faber was relieved after being brought back to the banks at Ebden and thanked the emergency service personnel.

“It got very rough all of the sudden,” he said.

“Once the first wave came in it just started to go down.”

Despite being a little cold, Mr Faber said he was uninjured.

Mrs Faber said those involved in the rescue were “fantastic”.

“We (had) one big wave hit us and then another wave hit us from the bottom and the boat just started to sink,” she said.

“Luckily we had our life vests on.

“We tried to do the right thing and hung on, rang the guys and we’re all OK.”

The water was about 26 degrees at the time.

Mr Church said the boat had been in water about 60 feet deep. 

The pair put the boat’s fuel tank out of the side of the boat to help locate it if it sank. 

Mr Church had initially planned to drag the boat to the bank on the Bethanga side, but was unable to do so. 

SES volunteers had planned to recover the boat after the pair were taken to safety.